God Of Nothing

Life, The Universe, and Everything…

In Her Name – Michael R. Hicks

Empire

Empire, Book One of the Redemption Trilogy of the In Her Name Series
By Michael R. Hicks

For far to long I’ve been ignoring the writer in me so I could bring into focus the rest of my life, I needed to bring people and things that really mattered to me to the forefront of my existence.  Having made those necessary changes and adjustments to my life I returned to my keyboard and screen.

The screen was blank and the keys played no tippity-tap music. I was empty and my story had been pushed to far back in my mind to spill out onto the pages. Then I realized the mistakes I had made. First, I should have continued to write, even if it was just a few paragraphs a week – about anything. And, second, I should have read more. I hadn’t read a book in more than a year. The two most important daily tasks writers should do is write and read.

I set forth to find a book that I might enjoy but instead found BookBud.com, a service that sends out a daily email with my chosen categories of books on sale or free for a limited time. And, that’s when I found the book, Empire, Book One of the Redemption Trilogy of the In Her Name series by Michael R. Hicks. I’ve known of Michael R. Hicks for some time. He was one of the first persons I followed on Twitter. However, for some reason I never took the leap to pick up one of his books. It was a terrible mistake on my part.

From the moment I started reading, I was hooked. In Hicks’ author bio on Amazon, he mentions he is a fan of Larry Niven, who is one of my all time favorites. This is what led me to download the book. I wanted to see how much of a inspiration Niven was on Hicks and if his work compared. Hicks did not disappoint and can be easily ranked with Niven and a host of other Science Fiction giants. In fact, he creates a universe substantial and well-lived-in, with characters so real that they become your friend and allies or your enemies.  So much so that when something unexpected happens, you are left thinking “What the Hell is Hicks thinking? This can’t happen!” But it does happen and it’s all part of his incredible and imaginative plot that in the end works to create an unbelievably, well written and amazing story. And that’s just the first book…

Empire follows the life of Reza Gard from his childhood to his early adulthood. To say he faces challenges along the way is an understatement at the very least. In addition to Reza, the supporting characters are people you want as your friends, people you come to trust and believe in or they are people you grow to hate and loath.  Because of the characters and Hicks’ superb writing skills, this story moves quickly, a staggering pace that makes you fear the story will end all to soon. However, even with this frantic pace that holds you on the edge of your seat, you do not become lost or disoriented in this wondrous universe.

I strongly suggest you get a copy of Empire (it’s free) and follow it up with Confederation and Final Battle, the complete Redemption Trilogy in the In Her Name Series. If you are a Science Fiction fan, you will be completely enthralled with Hicks’ masterful story telling, his attention to detail, and his ability to hold you on the edge throughout the entire story. I envy Hicks’ talent and admire his command of the craft. He is a wordsmith of the highest quality and I look forward to reading more of his work. I’ve already started on First Contact, Book One of The Last War Trilogy which is turning out to be another great read.

Thank you Michael, for taking us on this great adventure. I am inspired to get back to writing as soon as I’m done reading…

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March 24, 2014 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Past, Present and Future of My Writing

Julianne Snow

I am extremely happy to bring to you a guest post from one of my most favorite authors and good friend, Julianne Snow. I know you will enjoy her writing as much as I do…WS

I wonder what it’s like to be the God of Nothing Now? My good friend Wolf Scott knows all about that and as we talk about life and writing, it’s amazing to see that he in fact is the God of Something New. I am honoured that he has allowed me to borrow his blog for a day to promote my first book, Days with the Undead: Book One and as I think on the three themes he asked me to cover, I cannot help but reflect on –

The Past, Present and Future of My Writing

Wolf has asked me to write on a few specific things when we discussed the possibility of an appearance on his wonderful blog to support my new book Days with the Undead: Book One. At first, I didn’t know how I was going to answer the questions that he asked me because as simple and straightforward as they are, there is so much more to them. I have spent many days with his requests on my mind and now, I finally feel like I’m ready for the world to read my thoughts and my dreams and to get a deeper glimpse into the private oasis my mind is for me.

In the beginning, I wrote because it freed me. It freed my mind from all of the stories that clouded my imagination and made it impossible to concentrate on any other task. I grew up in a happy home but I was never truly content unless I was escaping into another world. I don’t even know why that is to be perfectly honest. I played the part of “happy child” but for the most part I wasn’t. I got teased a lot because my parents couldn’t afford all of the name brand clothes the other kids wore – it was hard but it made me strong. Writing was a release for me – was it all good, of course not. Heck, it could be crap now, but that wouldn’t make much of a difference to me because I write for myself.

Why do I write now? It’s a very good question. One of the reasons that I write is that I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’ve been told that’s not an acceptable answer however so I’ll give you a few more. Besides allowing me to cope with other tasks on a day to day basis, writing allows me to use my imagination in ways that I find remarkable – even when the words come out of my own head. Where do the scenes and the phrases come from? Somewhere in my mind sits a diminutive woman who looks a little like me and talks a little like me – her sole purpose is to keep my soul soaring. How does she do this? She pens tales of Zombies, and romance (though not at the same time); tales of horror and of life, and sometimes she even lets a little haiku or two escape. She is mine and I am hers. The relationship is very much co-dependent and for a time I didn’t let her speak, didn’t let her write and I certainly didn’t let her create. It was wrong of me but now that things have changed, we’re much happier together. I couldn’t imagine my life without the joy of literary creation. Plain and simple.

Click Book Cover for Links to buy or Links to Julianne Snow

My first book is firmly entrenched in the Zombie genre. That’s something that is obvious from the title – Days with the Undead: Book One. Why Zombies? Why write about survival? Those are interesting questions and ones that can be understood when you look at my own life. No I haven’t survived a Zombie Apocalypse, in this life or another, but I am a survivor. I have survived a great many things; a life threatening illness, violence, car accidents – I could go one but that might bore you all and the last thing that I want is pity. Empathy, maybe. (Wait, is there such a thing as empathy sales?) The main reason that I write about the Undead is that they scare me. Writing about your own fears can be a cathartic experience. Some might laugh and wonder why I find Zombies scary but the truth of the matter is this – Zombies are the direct juxtaposition of ourselves as a species. They are a reflection of humanity just on the other side of death; not completely dead but there is no saving it. Utterly terrifying when you think about it, right?

Are there other genres that I would like to explore with my writing – absolutely! I love the idea of writing a fully-fledged science fiction novel. Something that would contain all of the science related themes that I find fascinating. The ability to create more fantastical worlds is tempting as well. It’s such a spellbinding thought to me that at some point, I would like to write something that would land more squarely in the genre. To write something that falls within the realm of classic horror – like a psychological thriller – would certainly make my day at some point as well. There are so many stories that I want to write, the sky really is my limit when I consider the ideas that she cleverly tucks away into the subconscious of my mind for the perfect opportunity.

In the end, I’d like to leave a legacy of books behind that are as diverse as I am. I have more places to go with Days with the Undead and my mind swims each and every day with ideas for new stories. Will they all become novels? Perhaps not, but I will write each of the ideas that come to mind – let’s face it, some are better suited for short stories. I enjoy writing, it makes me feel fulfilled. In the end, I hope that people enjoy what I create – isn’t that what all authors strive for?

***

It was watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of six that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.

Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in upcoming anthologies called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Life, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forcing the Words

Lost by Kev Stanton

As a writer, I often find that writing is a tenuous activity because it is so easily put off because of a world full of distractions from errands that must be run to getting lost on the Internet.  There is family that must be tended to; four year old little girls need hugs at least two to three times an hour. There is food that needs to be prepared and eaten.  A whole gambit of things can distract you.  As I am writing this blog, I am realizing that even this blog is distracting me from working on my novel.

You can’t stop life from happening around you or to you but you can control some aspects of it.  I try to write in a comfortable quite location, far removed from family and friends. I set specific times to write and try to follow that whenever possible. It doesn’t always work, but it does let the people in my life know that writing is important to me and it’s something I need to do.

Writer’s block is another killer of dreams.  I have spent countless hours staring at my computer, the blank white page in Word that cannot be filled with letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. I know the story, I know the plot, but getting that information from my wandering mind to the page seems to be as elusive as the pink unicorn my daughter wants to ride so badly.

I love to write, it is something that I seem to do well and people respond well to my written stories.  I enjoy creating worlds and the characters that live in them.  Unfortunately, more often than not, I am distracted, led away from my words and come back only to find an empty white page mocking my creative soul. I hate that.

I once read that S.E. Hinton, a favorite author of mine as a teenager and writer of “The Outsiders” and “That Was Then, This is Now,” had sever writers block after the release of “The Outsiders.”  After three years of it, her boyfriend told her to write two pages a day, of anything, as long as she was writing something.  I’ve often use this to get beyond my writers block and distractions.  Sometimes what I write is just meaningless and will never be used but sometimes there is a spark of something that leads to a bigger project.

My current work in progress is one such spark.  It was fueled by a bad day of writing when the words to the story I wanted to write just would not come out, would not make their way to the keys and onto the screen.  That spark lead to more words, then sentences, then paragraphs, and soon I had more written from that spark then in the original project I was working on.

Another thing I do, which actually sounds counter-productive but seems to work for me is leave. I pack up my thoughts and go out into the world where I spy on every passerby I can find.  I watch people, the girl with amazing blue eyes behind the counter at the 7-Eleven, the guy chomping down on a burger while ignoring his wife go on about something I can’t quite hear, the kid running like a warrior through the toy section at Target.  Whatever, anything I see, it’s all potential to be something in my created worlds.  The kid might become a soldier storming the enemy. The guy might be plotting his escape from the life that has become less than wonderful.  The blue-eyed girl a love interest to the protagonist.  It’s all out there and it’s all ready to be transformed into something magnificent.

The actual working mechanics of a writer is generally and most often fairly solitary and boring, spending hours alone in front of the computer or pad of paper. It is so unlike working in an office environment where there are other persons to interact with, experience life with.  It is so important to go out there and experience, even if it is just watching others. It breeds ideas, allowing me to create my worlds, my characters, and the situations they have to live through, hopefully making then more real and believable.

In the end, whether by choice or fortune’s fate, I am a writer, it is something I have to do and there are sometimes obstacles that must be overcome as in all things. I may someday become an author of published work or maybe not, but I will always be a writer even when it is hard to write.

What do you do when the words won’t come out?

January 8, 2012 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

   

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